It’s only natural that our Papillion braces patients are curious about their food options as soon as they start treatment at Hawley Orthodontics. Many of them believe the myth that you have to give up a lot of your favorite treats when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. Well, we’re here to tell you that that’s absolutely not true. You can still enjoy the things you love! After Dr. Hawley puts your braces on, one of our team members will give you a rundown of what to add to your grocery list and we guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised. In the meantime, here’s a brief overview of some of our recommended foods as well as ideas for where to eat out with braces on in Omaha and the surrounding area.
What Foods are Safe to Eat With Braces?
While, of course, a few things like gum, skittles and their sticky counterparts will have to wait until you’re done treatment (it will be worth it when you see your new smile!), the foods you can eat greatly outnumber those that are off limits. After adjustments and when you first get your braces put on, your teeth may be a little sensitive, so sticking with soft foods and cold drinks will help keep you comfortable. These are some of our top items when it comes to braces food:
- Mashed potatoes
- Fruit cups
- Jell-O and pudding
- French fries (always a fan favorite)
- Fish sticks
- Ice cream
- Ice pops
- Soft candy (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, anyone?)
- Soft shell tacos
- Steamed veggies
- Egg salad, chicken salad or tuna salad
- Peanut Butter
While this list could go on forever, you get the gist. If it’s easy to eat, go for it! Keep in mind, it’s also less about what to eat with braces and more about how to eat with braces. Don’t tear into things with your front teeth and if it’s hard or chewy, like bagels, raw carrots or apples, cut or break it into bite-sized pieces. If you’re wearing Invisalign, you’ll take your aligners out to eat so there are no food restrictions. However, whenever you put in a new set of aligners, your teeth might be sensitive too so our list of braces foods will benefit you as well.
Now that we’ve covered the essentials when it comes to braces and food, if you’re wondering what type of restaurants to eat at with braces, you’re in luck.
Braces-Friendly Food in Omaha
Kitchen Table – 1415 Farnam Street – Kitchen Table is one of the best restaurants in Omaha hands-down and not just for people with braces. We love that the food is made from scratch using local ingredients and they even have vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. For an appetizer, try the deviled eggs. For a meal, we’d recommend the meatloaf. If you get it in sandwich form, just make sure to cut up the bread into small pieces.
Pitch Pizzeria – 5021 Underwood Avenue and 17808 Burke Street – It’s definitely best to make reservations at Pitch as it’s always bustling and for good reason: the food is awesome! As we mentioned, pasta is an excellent food for braces-wearers and this lively spot makes some tasty homemade pasta. You can’t go wrong with the Comte Mac & Cheese, the spaghetti and meatballs or any of the pizza choices.
The Grey Plume – 220 S. 31st Avenue, Ste 3101 – While the Grey Plume is a fine dining restaurant and definitely geared more towards the grown-ups, plenty of our braces patients are adults and they deserve delicious meals too! The Grey Plume offers unique contemporary cuisine using seasonal, local ingredients. The menu changes pretty often but if you happen to be there on a night where the Morgan Ranch Wagyu Beef dish is available, go for it (this is Omaha after all!). Patients occasionally ask, “Is it okay to eat steak with braces?” Of course! However, if you do order the Wagyu, cut it up into bite-size pieces. If your teeth are feeling especially sensitive, the soup is always outstanding.
11-Worth Café – 2419 Leavenworth Street – 11-Worth serves up classic diner food and it’s one of our favorite braces- and family-friendly restaurants in Omaha. Stop in for breakfast or lunch. You’ll find an array of omelettes, which are good for getting some protein while taking it easy on your teeth. The soft, fluffy homemade buttermilk pancakes are a favorite with kids and adults alike.
Braces-Friendly Food in Papillion
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt – Shadow Lake Towne Center, 7902 Towne Center Parkway, #121 – There aren’t too many things that are better than frozen treats right after you get braces put on and following an adjustment. Orange Leaf is one of those fun self-serve yogurt places where you can choose your flavor (or flavors) and pile on the toppings. The salted caramel and cookies and cream are palate-pleasers.
Wild Rice Sushi & Grill – 248 Olson Drive, #101 – Sushi is an extremely braces-friendly food since it’s soft and usually already bite-sized. Wild Rice has seriously good sushi and they offer take-out, which is a big plus. The tuna avocado roll, California roll and sweet potato roll are all top-notch. They also have a full menu of stir-fries, soups and noodles too and all of those choices get the Hawley Orthodontics’ seal of approval.
SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza – 248 Olson Drive – SPIN! has excellent pizza and a lot of dishes with Mediterranean flavor. However, their homemade soups are really what make them stand out and put them on the braces food map. The roasted tomato basil and white bean minestrone are both tasty. Treat yourself to gelato when you’re finished your meal.
Braces-Friendly Food in Gretna
El Vallarta – 11910 Standing Stone Drive, Ste 105 – This bright, friendly Mexican restaurant in Gretna offers fresh, authentic dishes and they have an impressive kids’ menu too! Soft tacos and braces are a perfect match. We’re fans of the tacos de pollo and the tacos de carnitas.
The Beanery – 11849 S. 216th Street – The Beanery is a cool mom and pop coffee shop. While they make some stellar coffee, their smoothies are a must for orthodontic patients (and everyone else, really!). The strawberry banana and the peach smoothies will convert you into a raving fan. For the caffeine lovers, they’ll turn any of their drinks into iced beverages so you can have your coffee and soothe your mouth too.
We’ll Smoke U BBQ – 117733 US-6 – Enjoy some hearty BBQ in a quirky space at We’ll Smoke U BBQ. We can’t get enough of the ribs, though make sure you take them off the bone and avoid biting into them with your front teeth when you’re wearing braces. Add a side of potato salad and satisfy your comfort food cravings.
Braces-Friendly Food in Bellevue
Juice 4 Life – 409 W. Mission Avenue – Juice is an awesome way to get a dose of nutrients without having to chew when you first get your braces put on. This juice bar offers organic cold pressed juices and local snacks. Even if you’re wary of green juice, Juice 4 Life’s beverages are so fresh and delicious, you won’t notice you’re sipping on veggies. The Pink Power blend is a great choice and even kids will like the mix of strawberries and peaches.
Stella’s Bar & Grill – 106 Galvin Road S – Stella’s offers award-winning burgers. In fact, they’ve been voted the “Best Burger in Omaha” seven years running. We’d have to agree with that designation. Oh, and they have wonderful fries too. We’d recommend the Stella’s Staple Burger (topped with cheese, bacon and a fried egg) or a classic cheeseburger. They also have a veggie burger for those who don’t eat meat.
The Special Restaurant – 303 Fort Crook Road – The Special has all of the traditional American classics. It’s perfect for enjoying a nice casual meal. Their mashed potatoes, which happen to be among the best braces-friendly foods, are fantastic. Don’t miss out on the chicken fried steak or one of the fresh, healthy salads either.